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Saul Leiter – The painterly photographer

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Any genealogy of the idioms of pre-digital photography needs to acknowledge characteristics of Saul Leiter’s work that went entirely un-noted at the time. He took shots from quirky vantage points, like misty or half-curtained windows, captured glimpses of pedestrians in motion and played with street shadows like an auteur of film noir. His blurred and grainy scenes verge on the abstract. There was no money for any of this in post-World War 2 New York. A big break for Leiter, after having the electricity cut off and needing to pawn his camera, came with fashion shoot assignments for Harper’s Bazaar...

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